An autonomous sprayer created by John Deere and American-company GUSS has claimed the prestigious Henty Machine of the Year award
Unveiled to local audiences at the Hort Connections event in Adelaide earlier this year, the orchard sprayer beat strong competition to win this year’s Henty award.
Announced during the first day of this year’s Henty Machinery Field Days in New South Wales, judge Warren Scheetz says the joint-venture’s machine received the award for multiple reasons.
“We selected GUSS for its advancement in autonomous spraying technology with a strong commitment to precision chemical application, increased labour efficiency and employee safety,” Mr Scheetz said.
“The technology of this machine allows for the horticultural industry to apply foliar applications safely and accurately. With reduced labour requirements it can remotely monitor and control.
“The machine was well built and designed while the technology behind it has taken years of research and development.”
GUSS – which stands for Global Unmanned Spray System – uses technology from California-based GUSS Automation.
The company signed a joint venture deal with John Deere last year to accelerate the development and distribution of its technology.
GUSS uses a combination of LiDAR sensors (light detection and ranging), GPS and software to operate safely and efficiently though orchards unmanned.
It was deliberately designed with a low profile, being just 1.9m high, 2.29m wide and 7m long, which allows tree branches to flow over the top.
GUSS also works with Deere’s Select Spray technology, which identifies the target tree and applies the precise amount of spray required for optimal coverage.
There are currently about 250 GUSS sprayers working globally, with the machine on display at Henty one of a few in Australia.
The Shepherd Feedlot Auto Drafter, entered by Justin Dunn of Temora, was highly commended in the same competition.
Last year’s Henty Machine of the Year winner was the MacDon FD2 Flex Draper.